The NBA’s best, and worst, three point shooters

January 17, 2012

By Jack Maidment

It’s been said to succeed in the NBA you have to have at least one elite skill. If you are a great defender, say Shane Battier, chances are you’ll stick somewhere. Precognitive rebounder, like Dennis Rodman, you have a great chance of staying in the league.

Similarly, if you can shoot the lights out of any gym you play in a team somewhere is going to want you – putting the ball in the hole is never going to get old, hitting the open jump shot will never go out of fashion.

With that in mind here is a break down of the best, and absolute worst, three point shooters in the NBA this season.

To qualify each player had to have taken at least 30 shots from behind the arc (about three attempts a game, give or take).

Without looking I had three of these guys on the list in my head. The rest were almost total surprises.

The Best:

  1. Ray Allen, Boston Celtics. No surprises here. The man with the most three pointers made in NBA history is officially the best shooter from beyond the arc in the league and it’s not even close. Who knew. Jesus has shot 31-54 from three, good for a suitably majestic .574 from behind the arc.
  2. Markieff Morris, Phoenix Suns. The rookie big man has made 16 of 31. He is shooting .516 from three. Anyone who says they had Morris on this list is a liar.
  3. Richard Jefferson, San Antonio Spurs. 36-71. .507
  4. Brandon Rush, Golden State Warriors. Right player in the perfect offense. 17-35. .486
  5. James Jones, Miami Heat. The second of my three. Junior is a given. 15-31. .484
  6. Hedo Turkoglu, Orlando Magic. Confusure. I thought Turkoglu stopped playing in 2010? 30-62. .484
  7. Nicolas Batum, Portland Trailblazers. 21-44. .477
  8. Danny Green, San Antonio Spurs. 14-30. .467
  9. Paul Pierce, Boston Celtics. Pretty good when two of the top 10 three point shooters in the NBA are on the same team. Even if said team is awful. 18-39. .462
  10. Daniel Gibson, Cleveland Cavaliers. He was my third. He will take Eddie House’s moniker soon enough. 22-48. .458

The next list is ugly. I checked the stats on the number one guy at least four times because I couldn’t believe you could miss so many threes without the coach fitting you with an electric shock collar. I picked one right.

The Worst:

  1. Raymond Felton, Portland Trailblazers. Unbelievable. Just unbelievable. 6-43. .140
  2. John Salmons, Sacramento Kings. I picked him. 8-44. .182
  3. Wesley Johnson, Minnesota Timberwolves. 8-41. .195
  4. Shawne Williams, New Jersey Nets. 7-33. .212
  5. Lamar Odom, Dallas Mavericks 9-42. .214

 


NBA Finals Game 2: Celtics have 4 Do Its

June 7, 2010

by Jack Maidment

I scare myself. I really do. I said it, I said it, I said it.

Then again it was hardly like I disclosed how the Timberwolves could make The Finals next year. It was a case in stating the obvious, but I will take a small amount of credit for drawing up the blueprint for a Boston come back even if it was common knowledge.

Some people might be saying that I actually said the Celtics didn’t have a chance. And, well, I did. But. That’s not the point.

Everything they didn’t do in Game 1 they did in Game 2 and that is why the Lakers are heading to Boston on the back of a beat down.

Not a classic 20-point-demolition-job-beat-down but a we-sucked-in-Game-1-lets-play-like-we-can-beat-down.

Ray Allen, quite simply, was imperious. His eight threes were enough to draw one of the Laker Bigs out of the domain of darkness that Los Angeles patrols down low in the second half, allowing the rest of the Celts to get involved, especially Glenn Davis and Rajon Rondo.

He was so hot that you knew that every shot he took was going in. Not in a ‘he’s my favourite player and he’s great’ kind of way, but in a ‘I feel something weird going on, there is no way this guy is missing tonight’ way.

They gave him the ball, normally with Kobe or Fisher draped over him and his snatch release did the rest. He was unguardable.

(Which leads me to the question: A ridiculously hot three point shooter can win you really really important basketball games. Not only do you get three points but the other team is utterly demoralised as the same guy comes down the floor, continuously, making shot after shot. How do you play that? And why did teams not grab the opportunity to trade for Ray Allen when the Celtics were dangling him for all to see in February?)

The Best Point Guard in the Game When Paul, Williams and Nash Aren’t Around was pure sweet triple double goodness. Time after time he came up with the ball in situations where he really had no business too and even when he wasn’t scoring or assisting he was making plays as he has done all post season.

One of the back breakers in Game 2 was Rondo’s block from behind of Fisher’s 3 point ahead. It sparked a fast break and two easy points exactly when the Lakers could not afford them.

The fact that Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett were relatively ineffective highlights the importance and luxury of having four Do It players. Rondo, Garnett, Pierce and Allen. All the Celtics need is two of them a game to show up and play anywhere near there best and they have a great chance to win.

How many Do It guys have the Lakers got? For my money, just two. Pau Gasol and Kobe. Which means that neither of them can have a night off if LA wants to win The Finals.

The officiating also played its part as it did in Game 1 but the shoe was on the other foot, with Kobe being forced to play the entire fourth with 5 fouls (many of which were more than questionable just like Ray Allen’s in Game 1) limiting his drives and turning him into a jump shooter only.

It was a massive wake up call for the Lakers that’s for sure. The Celtics looked dead and buried after Game 1 but like Sayeed in season 6 of Lost they came back inexplicably in Game 2.

And Rasheed Wallace ran the floor in Game 2. Madness. If that sets the tone for this series then I’m not ruling anything out. Maybe even Michael Finley will have his moment a la Robert Horry against Detroit. Or not.

No more brash (and stupid) reactionary predictions from me that’s for sure. Lakers in 5 was a bad shout. But I may as well go down fighting so that’s how it must be.

It should be one hell of a series.


Detroit Pistons Reject Boston Celtic’s Trade Advances

June 23, 2009

rip and princeby Jack Maidment

How many times have you tried talking to someone for them to apparently not hear you at all? And when they do acknowledge your attempt at communication, all you are greeted with is a look of annoyance that you have disturbed their peace.

NBA General Managers must be familiar with both sides of this ‘conversation’ given the amount of talk, especially in the off season, that takes place regarding the switching of player personnel.

There are those that love to talk, those who love to listen and those who do a little bit of both.

According to Yahoo Sports one man who has been doing a lot of listening this week is the Detroit Piston’s GM, Joe Dumars, with the Boston Celtics at the other end doing all of the talking.

The story is being told that neither franchise’s GM was involved in discussions, but that initial talks had taken place between lower level executives.

The Celtics were looking to trade Rajon Rondo and Ray Allen for Tayshaun Prince, Rip Hamilton and Rodney Stuckey.

To say that these team’s ‘discussed’ a trade appears to be slightly hyperbolic given the simplicity of Detroit’s response: no.

The trade appears to be more wishful thinking than realism on the part of Boston. Such a deal is clearly built around the value of Allen’s $20 million expiring contract which would leave his team big time cap room heading into 2010.

The Piston’s however are more keen to rebound quickly, playing with the salary space that Allen Iverson’s departure has created.

With the desire for cap space eliminated, the trade, talent wise, just doesn’t make sense for Detroit.

Ray Allen is clearly in the autumn of his career, a very good player but for how much longer? In contrast, Rip Hamilton is realtively sprightly with many years of production ahead of him.

The same can be said for Prince who was no doubt desired by the Celtics for his ability to defend the lengthy 3s and 4s that will stand in between Boston and a return to the Finals.

Boston is apparently reluctant to re-sign Rondo to the long term and large contract that he will soon command. Stuckey appears to be the cheaper alternative.

The trade would almost certainly reinvigorate the Celtic’s, but given the fact that it makes next to no sense for Detroit, this simply ain’t gonna happen.


NBA Playoffs Conference Semi Finals, Boston meet Orlando: 7 Games Never Looked So Good

May 3, 2009

paul-pierce-34_112609

7 games never felt so good. Boston may have closed out the Chicago Bulls last night, but the only real winners were the audience.

Chicago are off home for exit interviews and the Boston Celtics have no time at all to prepare for what should be an even sterner test against an Orlando Magic team whose All-Star center has discovered a nasty streak.

The absence of Kevin Garnett effectively guaranteed that this first rounder would be much closer  than each franchise’s seeding would have suggested.

The Bulls team, with John Salmons and Brad Miller in the squad, would have been good for the 5th seed out East if they had played the whole season as they had since their trade with Sacramento.

In contrast, if Boston had missed Garnett the whole season they would have been closer to the 4th seed rather than the 2nd spot.

The seedings lied and what followed could well have been the finest first round playoff series in the history of the NBA.

Regardless of the exit, the Bulls know that in Derrick Rose they have a truly mercurial talent that should develop (more) into one of the finest in the game. Depending on Ben Gordon’s contract situation, the Bulls will return, a year wiser and more experienced.

Along with Gordon, Rose was the Bulls leader. Dude is a Rookie.

Perspective is a fine thing.

Boston have little time to be relieved as the Magic come calling in just a few days, fresh off of a confidence boosting win in Philadelphia, something they achieved without their suspended big man.

Can Orlando dethrone the Champions? They have to fancy their chances. Without Garnett the Celtics look lost defensively and will struggle almightily to contain Dwight Howard. Kendrick Perkins, Glen Davis and Mikki Moore will have their hands full.   

The possibility of 20/20 games for Howard is very real given the calibre of player he will be up against, none of who are the greatest of athletes, at least when compared to Howard.

The Cs will be even more reliant on their new Big 3: Rondo, Pierce and Allen. All of whom will have to be at their best to see off a surging Magic.

It is certainly worth considering the extent to which fatigue might play a part in this series with Allen especially having played many, many minutes in the numerous overtimes with Chicago.

The Celtic big men just have to try and contain Howard as best they can and make the magic hit their shots from deep. If Howard dominates (likely) Boston will be going fishing. If they keep his numbers respectable, then the likes of Allen and Pierce will have a chance to play clutch and sink the upstarts from Florida.

Such is the importance of Garnett and the presence of Howard that the Magic will progress in 6. Although if their first rounder has taught us anything it is that there will be countless twists and turns before we know who will advance to the Conference Finals.